July 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
Everything I Have Is Broken
I tell her that my pots and pans have scratches that never come out. My mother’s old china no longer reflects. Its value is now estimated as drywall. The coffee maker can’t process java. It doesn’t heat–just gurgles and dies. It dies each morning. The toilet needs some artful juggling. Yet, despite all of it, she likes me because of my smile that reminds her of HIM, who was yesterday. She says that whenever there is steel against sky there is the possibility of love. She loves the smell of old bridges after a rain. I remind her how the neighborhood is going downhill, how at night there is the sound of cockroaches imitating humans making sex sounds with clenched jaws. The cockroaches go and die somewhere else. Still she insists she won’t leave without a flag. You’re the one, she exclaims wordlessly. I can read it in her yesterday eyes that were once bluer. She still believes I could be HIM, if I could just polish my act. I keep telling her that I’m today with no future; my apartment is only walls and punched-in holes. I keep telling her that I’m a veteran of three wars and we’re still losing Avenue C to the bankers from gangrenous side-streets. I tell her I’m out of insecticide. I’m shaking an empty can. She doesn’t care about that.
Kyle Hemmings is the author of several chapbooks of poetry and prose: Avenue C, Cat People, and Anime Junkie (Scars Publications). His latest e-books are You Never Die in Wholes from Good Story Press and The Truth about Onions from Good Samaritan. He lives and writes in New Jersey.
Image: Road, By Leigh-Anne Fraser
June 15, 2012 § 3 Comments
My pen was quivering before I started to write. It may have been the Four Loko from last night that seems to carry a hangover of trembling hands; or, maybe it was my own plain shakiness when writing in public, at a desk, in class; or, it may have been my system being nervous about writing about a place I’ve never been to– her place. She called it her ‘loft.’ I bet it looked like her wardrobe– that worn forest green color she wore too often; it probably looked like music, like John Brown’s Body. It probably looked disorderly with a tint of clean. She probably draped some curtains over the window–curtains her mother probably made. I imagine, they might have been an ugly maroon no one but I would have liked. Her nightstand was probably stacked with borrowed books. She might have had an ashtray, but probably for things other than ash. Things like fortune cookie papers, pretty marbles, or change. It probably smells like her back does in the mornings. Blankets seem to peel our skin for their own. Every night I sleep alone I am reminded of how she and I smelled together: like a live acoustic band, something raw and ready and clawing for nothing but stillness about it. I still haven’t washed my bed sheets; I think it’s because I like to hold onto things that are already gone. I still have that bottle of shitty wine, two glasses stained from cold hot chocolate, and her tea mug. I haven’t washed it– sometimes, I drink water from it. It still clings to an after taste of vanilla chai.Then again, I don’t listen to Bon Iver or Mumford and Sons anymore, because I can’t. I bet that’s what she plays on her CD player. It probably sits on a bookshelf, near her bed. And yes, I’m guessing she has a CD player. But, this is all guesswork anyways; I don’t have any real answers.
Benjamin Bouvet-Boisclair is currently a SUNY Cortland undergrad student working towards a Professional Writing degree. When not writing he is playing board games with enemies, shooting hoops, or doing magic tricks for invisible crowds. He lives in Cortland, New York, inside of a small room with a big couch.
Image: Unfolded Wing, By Leigh-Anne Fraser